5 Things to Bring from Home Instead of Buying at Walt Disney World

Trust us when we say there is a plethora of fun items you’re going to want to buy when you visit the Disney theme parks! From merchandise to treats, there is no shortage of Disney magic to be found. However, there are a few things we suggest you bring from home, as opposed to purchasing them at the parks. If you follow this guide, you should be able to save a little hassle as well as a few bucks — which you can then put toward a perfect souvenir!

Don’t get caught in the rain without your rain gear!

1: Rain Gear

Let’s face it — it’s Florida and it rains. During the summer, it’s not unusual for it to rain every single day around 3 p.m., sometimes for 20 minutes or so — sometimes longer. Even if it’s just a quick shower, being caught in a downpour can result in soaked clothes and some unhappy campers. Disney has plenty of ponchos and umbrellas for sale, but we recommend bringing them from home. A poncho in the parks will set you back about $10 each, whereas you can get them at Wal-Mart or a dollar store for just a few bucks. They are sold in extremely compact packaging so they won’t take up much room in your bag. We also recommend bringing an umbrella with you to the parks —  a small travel one. This way you’re never caught by surprise in a Florida rainstorm!

2: Portable Charger

Your phone is going to get quite the workout during a day in the parks. From being able to book Fastpass+ and order lunch through the My Disney Experience App, to taking tons of photos and videos of entertainment, characters, and family moments, your battery’s energy will be sapped. It’s unlikely it will last the whole day. Portable chargers are available at kiosks throughout the parks, however they cost $30 a piece. Bringing your own with you will ensure your phone has enough juice to last all day, so you can take as many pictures as you want! Just make sure to charge it before you head into the park.

You’ll want sunscreen throughout your whole trip, especially at the water parks!

3: Sunscreen

Have we mentioned that Walt Disney World is in Florida? Even during the coldest months, the average temperature is in the 70s, and during the summer the intense Florida sun heats things up well into the 90s. You are going to need to wear sunscreen every day on your vacation — especially during days enjoyed at the resort pools or water parks. There is a limited variety of sunscreen for sale at the parks and resorts, and it’s at a marked-up price, so we strongly suggest you bring some from home. Your wallet and skin will thank you!

Reusable water bottle, Disney style!

4: Reusable Water Bottle

One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you can get free water throughout the parks. Just head to any quick service location, and they will provide you with a cup of complimentary ice-cold water. We recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you, and filling it with either the water from quick service locations or the water fountains around the parks. Not only will you save yourself $3.50 each time you DON’T buy a bottle of water, but a reusable bottle will provide a sturdy, less spillable way to hydrate. You’re also being kind to the environment by using less plastic. AND your little (and big) ones can pick out their own fun Disney water bottle from shopDisney or Target before your vacation, which may get them even MORE excited for the trip!

5: Black Sharpie Marker

Everyone knows one of the best parts of Walt Disney World is meeting your favorite characters! We love getting a classic Disney autograph book in the parks, however we recommend bringing your writing utensil from home. According to my good friend Goofy, a classic black Sharpie is the best choice. It’s easy for the characters to grip the thick marker, and it writes easily on most surfaces resulting in a clear, legible signature that won’t wash away. Bring a few with you, and have fun filling those books!

Minnie Mouse is waiting to sign your autograph book, so be sure to bring your Sharpie!


What do you make sure to pack from home? Let us know in the comments!

5 Things to Bring from Home Instead of Buying at Walt Disney World

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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8 Replies to “5 Things to Bring from Home Instead of Buying at Walt Disney World”

  1. Portable chargers at Disney are a little pricey BUT you can simply drop off and get a new freshly charged one at many/most of the stores. No worries about staying connected.

  2. Don’t forget glow in the dark toys! And if you have babies on tow don’t you ever forget to bring diapers, swim diapers, baby food and formula

  3. I was quick to ditch the pretty-much-useless rain ponchos we brought from home for the Disney ponchos. They have paid for themselves many times over and were replaced for free when they tore.

  4. I have a question about the sharpie. Don’t it get on their gloves? or does it dry so fast that it does not? Or maybe there are no left handed characters.

    1. While Disney doesn’t care if it’s characters have 3 fingers or no fingers, a hook or flipper for a hand, wear a shirt and no pants or pants and no shirt, they do have a strict no “left-handed” character policy. They do, however, offer an online training program for all aspiring characters to learn to write the “right” way. Of course Pluto has figured a way around it, as he just puts the pen in his mouth and signs.

  5. These are all excellent ideas, however they need just a bit of tweaking to make them perfect.

    Rain Gear – Buy the cheapest ponchos you can find. Pack one in your bag each day and after the rain passes just toss it in the garbage. It’s a win win. No toting a dripping wet poncho around the rest of the day and you can really irritate any environmentalist’s that see you tossing a large piece of plastic in with the regular garbage.

    Portable Charger – While a portable charger will certainly do the job, a small ball peen hammer is my choice of phone accessory. That way after 37 straight hours of watching your teenager with his nose in his phone on your $30,000, once-in-a- lifetime vacation, you can whip out your hammer and perform an on the spot attitude adjustment (on the phone, silly).

    Sun Screen – looking for a great way to pay for that next WDW vacation. Then sun screen is the way to go. Just discreetly squirt out a large blob on the sidewalk and have your frailest kid slip on it. Try to time the slip right behind a family as they are posing for a Photo Pass shot. The evidence will greatly speed up the litigation process. And enjoy your next vacation in the deluxe hotel of your choice!

    Water Bottle – great idea. And purchase the largest thickest plastic bottles you can find. The earth needs tons more plastic before it can synthesize it into world peace.

    Black Sharpie – ……and a Sharpie comes in quite handy for tagging your favorite attractions with a little family graffiti while waiting in those long lines. “Smith Posse Rules”